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My Garden Diary

May and June 2015

Copyright © 2015 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
24 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 51-74
Humidity: 43%
Wind: 0-9

Rain —
This season: 8.56
Days since last: 9

Trimmed the Sprenger asparagus (A. densiflorus 'Sprengeri') in back, in the east bed next to the camellia bed. Because of thorns, I had to wear leather gloves. I really do not like this plant. It spreads and can crowd out adjacent plants. This is a female plant — asparagus, Ginkgo, and ash (Fraxinus) species have distinct male and female plants — which means seedlings can start as weeds any place in my garden. However, Cleopatra's favorite sleeping place in the summer is under the Sprenger asparagus; so I keep it. It had to be trimmed because it was becoming difficult to find Cleopatra, and it was blocking access to my compost pile.

Trimmed the candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) from the stepping stones that separate the camellia and east beds. I do not remove dead flower clusters from the candytuft. Instead, I allow it to go to seed so that newer plants will get established and become dense. There is a good patch of this, not only where I trimmed today but also at the opposite corner of the back yard under the pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana) in the west bed. I hope it grows thick enough to prevent weeds.

Trimmed the edges of the path between the back lawn and the teardrop bed. I still have to trim the edge of the teardrop bed towards the east bed.

It's a squirrel that has been eating my loquats (10 May). I scared one out of the tree today. Then I took a damaged fruit and placed it in the squirrel trap.

Moved the seedling valley white oak (Quercus lobata) from a pot (9 Apr) to a 1-gallon nursery can.

21 May

Overcast, gray, and cool

Temp: 49-62
Humidity: 50%
Wind: 1-18

Rain —
This season: 8.56
Week: 0.32
Days since last: 6

Finished trimming the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender in front (10 May). This is the "mother" plant from which rooted cuttings produced all the other lavender plants in my garden.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with ammonium, iron, and zinc sulfates. I also gave the Australian tea tree some ammonium and iron sulfates.

Almost forgot to feed the azaleas that were not fed earlier this year (15 Mar) when they were still in bloom. They were beginning to look somewhat tired. Today, I used a commercial azalea and camellia fertilizer on the 'Alaska', 'Formosa', and 'George Taber' azaleas. I also gave a second feeding to the 'Thomas D. Pitts' and 'Kramer's Supreme' Camellia japonica, both of which have been merely surviving without thriving.

10 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 52-79
Humidity: 36%
Wind: 1-14

Rain —
This season: 8.24
Week: 0.02
Days since last: 2

Yes, we actually had measurable rain this past week. While 0.02 inch is enough to wet dust — 0.01 inch will not even do that — it was not enough to wet the soil and reach plant roots.

Partially trimmed the 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender growing in front, in the brick panel at the end of my driveway. I will trim some more soon. I also trimmed some of the growth on my rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) just across the public sidewalk from the lavender. The rosemary was growing out over the sidewalk and my driveway.

Finally potted the rooted cuttings of the spoon-flowered chrysanthemum (C. morifolium) (9 Apr), discarding the parent plant and its stale potting mix.

Trimmed the edge of the back lawn along the path that separates it from the circular bed.

It appears that insects are the culprits that are damaging the fruit on my 'MacBeth' loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica). Squirrels would remove an entire loquat, and birds would attack exposed fruit. The damage I am seeing, however, is partially eaten fruit hidden among the leaves, something I have seen with my grapes when wasps and hornets attack. I picked some of the damaged fruit and fed it to Cleopatra; she is fussy and would not touch the loquats until I peeled them.

7 May

Mostly cloudy, gray with occasional hazy sun, and cold

Temp: 48-62
Humidity: 44%
Wind: 2-23 (gusts to 34)

Fed the roses with a commercial fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide. The instructions say to use this product every six weeks; but I use it once every two months (approximately nine weeks), alternating with ammonium sulfate. Although the interval for the commercial fertilizer is 50% longer than recommended, I never see any aphids, spider mites, or other pests in my roses.

Rain —
This season: 8.22
Days since last: 30

3 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 50-77
Winter chill: 102 hours
Humidity: 34%
Wind: 3-13

Rain —
This season: 8.22
Days since last: 26

Removed several thistle seedlings from the parkway (parking strip) in front. Although quite small, they already had spines that could penetrate the leather gloves I was wearing; so I wrapped them in a wad of newspaper to lift them and place them in my bucket.

Trimmed a third 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in the circular bed in back (26 Apr). The fourth one was planted as a rooted cutting last fall (15 Oct 14) and has not yet grown enough to interfere with adjacent plants.

Trimmed the final two dwarf myrtles (Myrtus communis 'Compacta') (26 Apr).

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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